Sunday, August 31, 2014

On Top of the World

 I took a hike this weekend, with my husband Tom, and three girlfriends. It was to the east of town, a short hike, but with a lot of elevation gain (1200 ft). A perfect day weather wise, but I was still surprised that there were so many wildflowers still blooming.
 White ones 
sunny yellow ones
a few lavender here and there
and some pretty mossy plants.
It actually helped that they were right along the edge of the trail because they kept me going on what was a mostly straight up trail!
We had lunch at the very top,
and were rewarded with this view.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A 50th

Well, I have been posting pictures of cemeteries, and rain. I hope I haven't depressed  everyone! How about some happiness? We had good friends here, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last night.
Carolyn and Ken spent most of their married life in Waco, Texas
They sure looked like kids when they married
A few of the hostesses.
The pretty tables
A table full of delicious food
 and couldn't be a party without cake.

We all had a wonderful time....and I am  packing my lunch to climb a mountain today. No rest for the weary...Stay tuned!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Rain or Shine

Sometimes I feel like we are attending summer camp. There is always something fun going on...even on rainy days
Now I ask you. Do these people look like they are arriving at a picnic?
Well, they are! Don't worry, the fire is lit...the  beans are being kept warm
and someone remembered the hot dogs
Surely the rain won't last long!

Actually, it doesn't matter, because there is a nice pavilion to keep us dry.
Good food , good friends, good times...that is what it is all about!

I hope your day is sunny and bright!
(unless of course you need the rain)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Final Fence

I don't know about you, but I like to walk through old cemeteries. We have two in this little town. One, way up above town, and the other along the highway, north of town. I hear that in days gone by...the upper cemetery was the preferred.
There are some beautiful old fences around some of the family plots in the upper cemetery. This is a favorite of mine, rust and all.
or maybe this one.
click on photo to enlarge
This one I find a little sad. Two year old Mary (1889-1891) is the lone grave surrounded by this broken down fence. It states that she was the daughter of some man...who has a different last name? No mention of her Mother.
I will try to find out the story on this one...and you will be the first to know.

Linking to: Good Fences

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Cold Case

We had a television show here in the U.S., about detectives that tried to solve murder cases that had been left unsolved.....A very popular show... it's name was Cold Case, and it ran for about seven years on CBS. I am sure that there are multitudes of murder cases that go unsolved around the world, but did you know that we had one here in the little mining town a very long time ago?

The superintendent of the Hidden Treasure Mine, a German immigrant, returned to Germany to bring back his wife and infant son. The beautiful young wife lived with her husband in a spacious home, high above Lake City, at the mine sight.Not much was known about this relationship, although someone noted that there was a considerable age difference. The Superintendent  was forty nine years old and his bride, Pauline, was only twenty four.

Above is a rare photo of the pretty Pauline on the right.

On the afternoon of April 16, 1902 a young Italian miner entered the family residence, and shot Pauline in the head, killing her, and then turned the gun on himself.

There was all kind of speculation as to why, but no one ever knew for sure...what the reason was?

Her grave at the upper Lake City Cemetery.

From all accounts her husband and small son returned to Germany, where there were reports that he remarried. I wonder if any of her descendants have ever visited her grave here?

I guess this wouldn't actually be an unsolved it was seemingly  a murder suicide...
I wonder too about the plastic flowers....who put them there?

*UPDATE! I just talked to the President of our Historical Society, and he said that to his knowledge, no one has ever come to town inquiring about Pauline, but a relative of the young Italian miner , accused of shooting her,  came to town just last summer to see this area....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

An Old Home

This home in our Historic District, of little Lake City, would qualify as something old in pristine condition. Built in 1875 by the architect J.B. Lyons, as his own residence.It is the second owners that I find most  interesting.
Barney Mallon and Irishman, and his Scottish wife Hannah, bought this house in 1880 . Barney was a miner
at the Ocean Wave Mine, and had a most unfortunate accident in 1889. He lit his pipe, while at work in the mine , and a spark fell into a dynamite box. The explosion, of course killing him. Hannah owned this house until her death in 1910. Hannah's maiden name was Burns, and she held a yearly celebration in her home in honor of her ancestor...the famous poet Robert Burns.

Linking to: Rubbish Tuesday

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Beaver Dam

I talked my husband Tom into going 4wheeling this morning. There was an old jeep road southeast of town, that looked interesting. to me. He on the other hand , likes to walk. So, we compromised. We jeeped a ways up the road and then walked.
There was a gentle breeze blowing through the Aspen trees ....and it was pretty cool. I think Fall is in the air.
We came alongside a pond
I then spotted the dam. Those clever beavers had dammed up a very small stream and made this nice little pond
Only a little trickle of water was getting through on the other side.
We have had a beautiful weekend here in the mountains. I hope that you have too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Goodbye to Jim

Last year, about this time, we were all shocked by the sudden loss of a dear friend, to a fatal heart attack. Jim and his wife Leslie traveled from Illinois, to our little town in Colorado, every August, and always helped with our Victorian Tea. It was just a few days after the tea, last year, that he died. Jim also loved to fly fish . His favorite spot was along the beautiful waters of Henson Creek.
So, her son-in law bought a hand crafted, locally made bench, to be put on the walking trai ,alongside his favorite fishing spot.
It was very heavy, and took several men to lift it out of the truck

Our priest and friend Conrad...blessed it

and then we all gathered around your bench, and raised a glass. To you Jim,(some of the men wearing their bolo hats from the tea).
Jim we all loved you...and will miss your smiling face, your quick wit and always helping hands.

* wife Leslie was supposed to come to town for this...but as the time drew near... said she wasn't ready to be here....maybe next year.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Railroad Camp

In 1889 The Denver Rio Grande Railroad finally agreed to connect the booming mining town of Lake City, CO. to the main line, which was to the north, located in, *Sapinero, Co. It wasn't really that far away, but a very difficult terrain. The first few miles had to be blasted through shear canyon walls.
This is what was the railroad bed through this canyon, looks like today. The rails are gone and there really is no sign that it was ever there..The Lake Fork of the Gunnison River runs along the left side of this photo.
click on photo to enlarge
A history sign does mark the spot along these canyon walls, of one of the labor camps, where large groups of railroad workers lived, many of them immigrants from Italy. They worked ten hour days, six days a week, and most of this stretch of track was completed in the winter months....which can be very harsh around here.
The men lived in these half buried stone structures, that they covered with tree branches, or canvas.Some men even lived in tents.. There are about six or seven remaining structures at this site.
The interior of this stone structure had a crudely constructed fireplace,where they were known to have baked bread.
An old photo of some of the workers
click on photo to enlarge
These were hearty, hard working men, who put in those long back breaking hours for only a $1.75 a day.

This  post wouldn't be complete without showing you our darling little train, that eventually rode on those tracks.. It came into town every day, except Sunday, and spent the night....before loading it's two or three cars (four at the most) for the return trip. Pete, pictured above with his wife, was one of the crew members. He would blow the whistle, when approaching Lake City, and folks dropped what they were doing and hurried to the depot. It was, without a doubt, the most exciting part of the day!

The train picture is from the book My Lake City Memories
requested permission of Grant Houston of The Hinsdale County Historical Society

*Sapinero, Co. was moved to a hillside, south of where the original town site, because of the damming of  The Gunnison River  in 1965 to form Lake Blue Mesa .


Friday, August 22, 2014

Our Railroad

Our little town, in Colorado, historically has always been difficult to get to. It is high the the San Juan mountains, and across several mountain passes no matter which direction you approach from.. The major (and only) highway into this town is Colorado State Hwy. 149, and portions of it were still dirt roads as recently as the 1970's. So, the locals were thrilled way back in 1889 when a forty four mile stretch of the Denver Rio Grand Narrow Gauge Railroad completed it's tracks, from near Sapinero,Co., right in to downtown Lake City. It was short lived though. With the U. S. adopting the Gold Standard in the early 1890's, there was a huge drop in silver prices. Mining slowed down, and the population dwindled. The railroad pulled out in 1933.
 A poster (that we own) of the High Bridge that the little Narrow Gauge Line had to cross to get to Lake City. It was spanning the Lake Fork River (north of town) and at the time, was the highest railroad bridge in the U.S. When the train stopped running in 1933, this train trestle was dismantled, and the wood used in building projects in both Lake City, and Gunnison, CO. It is sad that there is no trace of this historic location.

but wait....there is!
I looked long and hard ,while driving north of town, trying to figure out exactly where that famous bridge went across and finally found it. Look closely, and you can see the few railroad ties left behind on the side of the cliff above the river.

* the poster has a miss print. The railroad arrived here in 1889 not 1899.

Come back tomorrow and I will show you the remains of a very rustic camp, deep in a canyon where the railroad workers lived.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


My husband and I took a walk along the Lake Fork River this morning (in Colorado). We were about five miles north of town (Lake City).
I spotted the remains of an old (downed) barbed wire fence just on the other side of the river
I have no idea how old the fence posts are
but the rusty old barbed wired is still attached
  In the distance I thought I saw the remains of an old cabin

but realized it was an old corral as we drew closer.

Linking to:Good Fences

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bloom Where You Are Planted

We don't have mail delivery to our homes here in this tiny Colorado town. So, sometime around noon, most of the town shows up at the Post Office, (it's actually very social). I use to walk , but there is a steep hill on the return...Yes it is the same one on the way down...but much harder to negotiate coming back up, so I drive. I am always amazed this time of year, at the wildflowers that bloom on the side of our rock hill.
With very little soil, or moisture, they still thrive
This one in particular reminds me of the quote, I believe attributed to Mary Englebreit
 "Bloom Where You Are Planted" which is not a bad motto to live by!